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Newsletter: March 2023

The time change is behind us, the days are getting longer, and Spring has officially arrived!  As one season hands off to the next, let’s look at recent activity around our neighbourhoods.  March was another busy and productive month in Simcoe-Grey.  I was pleased to meet with many people at Queen’s Park and at events and places of business around the riding to celebrate anniversaries, accomplishments and new initiatives.

Celebrating Sports Excellence in Simcoe-Grey

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talked in the Ontario Legislature about the long and proud tradition of elite athletes and great teams in Simcoe-Grey.

Ledge Leadership in Clarksburg

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson and Ledge Leadership Board Chair Lynda Rees visited the audio/video production studio

On Friday March 31st, Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson met with Ledge Leadership to hear more about the $66,800 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant helped Ledge Leadership purchase audio and video equipment, create an on-site production studio and receive professional content creation and training. The project will give Ledge Leadership the capability to produce high quality virtual presentations and media content to support their work with young adults.

Cassidy and Joe Real Estate Ribbon Cutting

I was pleased to attend the ribbon cutting at the new location of Cassidy & Joe Real Estate at 78 Victoria Street West in Alliston on Friday March 31st. I was in the good company of Mayor Richard Norcross, Ward 1 Councillor Chris Rapin, Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall and Cassidy & Joe team members.

The Blue Mountains Public Library

I was pleased to meet with Chief Executive Officer Dr. Sabrina Saunders from The Blue Mountains Public Library in The Blue Mountains. We had a tour of the facility along with a great discussion about the many services, events & programs offered to the community. Dr. Saunders talked about how public libraries have become the province’s farthest-reaching, most cost-effective public resource and community hubs.
More on my website – Video Greeting from Dr. Saunders

Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Government of Ontario is very proud of our collaboration and partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada / Conservation de la nature Canada to conserve, restore and manage important and sensitive natural areas across Ontario. The 2023 budget, if passed, will commit $14 million in funding to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to pursue new conservation projects and expand the 157,700 hectares of lands it manages in our beautiful Province.

Ontario invests additional $14 million in the Greenlands Conservation Partnership

Saunders Book Company

I was pleased to meet with James Saunders and Sean Pearson of Saunders Book Company and tour the Collingwood facility.

If you grew up in Collingwood you will remember Saunders Book Wholesale started as an offshoot of Jack Saunders, Saunders Stationary in 1963. Jack’s son, John Saunders, started by working out of a small space at the back of the downtown Collingwood store by taking selections of books to local schools. Today, the company has grown to become Canada’s largest exclusive distributor of print and digital books to schools and public libraries. The Collingwood operation employs approximately 90 people in its office and warehouse.
More on this story on my website

Collingwood Central Park Arena Canteen Initiative

Skylar Fulmer (pictured above left) is a chef and Program Facilitator. “I have worked at restaurants in this area and in Toronto but this is my dream job” Fulmer said.  Above right:  Environment Network Executive Director Kerri MacDonald

In 2020, the Ontario Trillium Foundation approved a three-year grant to create a Canteen at Central park Arena as well as delivering a project that provides culinary employment skills for youth leading to greater financial independence. A press conference was held on Saturday March 18th to celebrate the project and talk about future goals.

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talked about the success of the program and how it has helped individuals learn new skills in their chosen profession. “We are here today to celebrate two Ontario Trillium Foundation grants. The $308,700 Grow Grant allowed for upgrades to be made to the kitchen area of the Central Park arena which in turn helped create an amazing culinary program.”

VIDEO – Read More on my website

Rainbow Ski Weekend – Blue Mountain

It was my pleasure to attend the parade and flag raising ceremony to officially kick off the Rainbow Ski Weekend at Blue Mountain. This annual event here in Simcoe-Grey is a 3-day celebration of inclusivity, diversity and friendship.

Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank

Thursday March 16th I had the pleasure of meeting the dynamic volunteer team at the Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank, tour their facility and learn about the great work they do supporting the Wasaga Beach community.

Last year the Food Bank gave out over $250,000 in food and household items to support local residents and families. It is an incredible story of the power of community to see this volunteer team in action and hear how they rely on the generosity of donors both individual and corporate. Wasaga Beach is a community that cares and supports those in need.

Trillium Funding Announcement for YMCA Simcoe-Muskoka

Trillium Funding for Collingwood YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka was joined by Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson and Debora Bloom Hall, an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) volunteer, to celebrate a $150,000 Capital grant it received from OTF recently. The grant will help fund critical roof repairs, helping to ensure the longevity of the Collingwood YMCA facility.

The announcement was celebrated at a press conference at the Collingwood YMCA on Hume Street on Friday February 24th.

“This grant is recognition by this Government of the longstanding and vital role the Collingwood YMCA plays in our community helping people lead healthy, active and full lives. It proudly serves one in five residents, many of whom are supported through the YMCA’s generous financial assistance programs. It is an important community partner that works collaboratively with the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, the Georgian Bay Family Health Team and the Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe/York to provide critical programs for our region” said Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson.”

Read More on my website

Coldest Night of the Year

I was very happy to see such a large crowd participate in the Collingwood Coldest Night of the Year walk on Saturday February 25th. People were so happy to be able to get together in person once again to walk and raise money for local charities that work so hard to help people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Since 2011, the Coldest Night of the Year has raised over $57,000,000 across Canada in 166 communities – 100% of net proceeds stay local to support our CNOY charity partners. Locally, the Collingwood walk hit its target of $185,000 this year.

The crowd was large and spirits were high at the Alliston Coldest Night of the Year Event. Walkers were raising money and awareness for S.H.I.F.T  (Support and Hope for Individuals and Families Today), an organization that provides safe, respectful, and welcoming emergency overnight accommodation, meals and supports to those experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity in South Simcoe.

Simcoe County District School Board Meeting

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson met with Managers and the SCDSB in Midhurst to discuss capital and accommodations pressures facing schools throughout Simcoe-Grey.

Additional Funding for Hospice

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson visited Campbell House – Hospice Georgian Triangle in Collingwood on Friday March 10th to tour the facility and to make an important funding announcement.  

“It was a great opportunity for me to meet with staff and to tour the facility. It was also an opportunity for me to better understand the programs they have in place not only here at Campbell House but throughout the community, and the supports they have for bereavement and for those living with end of life illnesses.”

This week the Ontario Provincial Government announced it will be providing $13,726,100 in additional one-time funding for nursing, personal support, and other services delivered to patients in 84 residential hospices across the province. MPP Saunderson said for Hospice Georgian Triangle, this means an additional $236,500 top-up increase from base funding will be made available.

CLICK HERE to read more on my website

Matthews House Hospice Alliston will receive $236,500 – a 45% top-up increase from base funding

Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson recently visited Matthews House Hospice in Alliston to announce they will receive $1.128 million from the Ministry of Health, over 3 years, to fund community outreach projects to assist those living with life limiting illnesses and their caregivers.  Matthews House in Alliston provides hospice and community services supporting living life fully and dying with dignity. The management, staff and volunteers believe everyone should have access to the right palliative and bereavement care when and where they need it. 
CLICK HERE to read more.

I had the pleasure of touring the Grey Bruce Hospice Inc. – Chapman House in Owen Sound on Monday March 13th, 2023.

Executive Director Janet Fairbridge (pictured above) took time out of her busy schedule to show me the nine bed facility, introduce me to the incredible staff, and talk to me about the important work they do supporting people with end of life illnesses and their families. Chapman House has more than 40 volunteers who support all aspects of Grey Bruce Hospice Inc., and Resident and Family Supports.

Janet and I are standing in front of the living wall, a stunning vertical garden that infuses the entranceway with light and life.

POINT2POINT Podcast – March 2023, with Professional Public Policy Advisor Trent Gow and Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson. Healthcare here at home and beyond the borders of Simcoe-Grey is today’s topic.

Western Rowing Gala

I had the pleasure to attend the 19th Annual Western Rowing Gala in support of the Purple Machine Rowing Program. Volker Nolte, retired Head Coach and National Team Coach, former international oarsman and published author was inducted to the Western Rowing Wall of Excellence. I first met Volker at the 1991 World Championships in Vienna and it was wonderful to see him recognized with this well deserved honour.

I had the privilege of speaking about the start of my rowing career at Western and how it prepared me for international competition. I met some very talented rowers, who have accomplished much and have very bright futures on the water. I look forward to seeing them compete for Canada.

Rare Disease Day

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talked about Rare Disease Day in the Ontario Legislature on Monday March 5th.  Rare Disease Day is held world-wide on the last day of February to raise awareness and the daily impact living with a rare disease has not only on the patient but on family members and friends.  MPP Saunderson recognized two hard working constituents from Simcoe-Grey, Beeton residents Beth and Madi Vanstone.

Home Horizon Barbara Weider House

I am pleased to recognize Steven Pelletier and everyone at Home Horizon Transitional Support Program Barbara Weider House for the important work they do and service they provide to our community.

“I would like express my thanks and gratitude for the recognition of the work being done here at Barbara Weider House. We work very hard to meet the needs to vulnerable and homeless youth within SGB. This appreciation goes a long way! Thank you.”
–Steven Pelletier, Executive Director, Home Horizon – Barbara Weider House

Hockey Battles Cancer Night

It was a special night for the Collingwood Blues and their fans at the Eddie Bush Arena as the team hosted “Hockey Battles Cancer Night.”  The evening raised over $20,000 for cancer research and the Blues clinched first place in their division by beating the Markham Royals 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd of over 1,000 happy fans.

Alliston Hornets vs Stayner Siskins

We are blessed with excellent junior hockey throughout Simcoe-Grey.  I would guess the longest running rivalry exists between the Alliston Hornets and Stayner Siskins.  These two Junior “C” organizations have been battling it out on the ice for years.  On this night I was joined by Clearview Mayor Doug Measures and Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall in Stayner to take in the action.

Living Wish Foundation

Living Wish Foundation: Recipient of $87,900 from Resilient Communities Grant:

“The Living Wish Foundation is a worthy recipient of this significant grant. This is recognition of the incredible work it does in our region bringing much needed happiness to patients and their loved ones at a critical time. Thank you and congratulations to the The Living Wish Foundation Team for all they do.”

The Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce held its 2023 Women in Business Awards on Wednesday March 8th. The evening’s Guest Speaker was Gillian Fairley from Community Futures South Georgian Bay. Everyone enjoyed appetizers, games, prizes, a silent auction and music, and of course, celebrated this year’s awards recipients. MPP Brian Saunderson’s office provided congratulatory scrolls to all winners.

CLICK HERE to view the list of winners on my website

Meet our new Queen’s Park Page from Simcoe-Grey! Morgan Burkitt is one of approximately 150 young students from across Ontario chosen to participate in Ontario’s Legislative Page Program. Each year approximately 150 young students from across Ontario are selected to participate in Ontario’s Legislative Page Program. This unique educational program for Ontario students provides an opportunity to experience the provincial legislature in action and forge new lifelong friendships with peers from all over the province.

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talked about Bill 46 – Less Red Tape, Stronger Ontario Act, in the Legislature.

It was my pleasure to meet with the President of OMCA (Ontario Motor Coach Association) Vince Accardi to discuss ways to continue supporting the economic recovery of our tourism industry and connect more Ontarians to affordable and accessible transportation.

I was pleased to meet virtually with members of the Organic Council of Ontario on Wednesday March 29th. Local organic producers and business owners from Simcoe-Grey discussed the priorities of Ontario’s organic farmers and businesses.

I had the pleasure of meeting with @OntarioFarms representatives to discuss their priorities and issues impacting farmers in Simcoe-Grey and the agriculture industry in Ontario.

I met with David Agnew, President of @SenecaCollege and Kathleen Lynch, President of @Confederation College, as part of Colleges Day at Queen’s Park. We discussed the many ways our government can continue to support post-secondary education and our students.

Association of Consulting Engineering Companies

I was happy to sit down with members of @ACECOntario to discuss key issues in the consulting engineering industry and ways our government can continue delivering infrastructure projects more effectively across Ontario.

McDonalds Canada

Thank you McDonald’s Canada for meeting with me to discuss the great work you do in our local communities and learn more about your climate action incentives, supply chains, and agricultural sourcing across Ontario.

Ontario Wine & Grape Industry Reception

I enjoyed meeting with Catherine Morrissey, owner of Creemore Hills Winery, and constituent and staffer with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Patrick Whitten, at the Ontario Wine & Grape Industry Reception at Queen’s Park on Wednesday March 8th.

The local wine and grape industry operators are making an impact and contribute to the dynamic and growing agri-tourism industry in Simcoe-Grey.

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson talked about Rare Disease Day in the Ontario Legislature on Monday March 5th.  Rare Disease Day is held world-wide on the last day of February to raise awareness and the daily impact living with a rare disease has not only on the patient but on family members and friends.  MPP Saunderson recognized two hard working constituents from Simcoe-Grey, Beeton residents Beth and Madi Vanstone.

Recently at Queen’s Park I sat down with the Ontario Korean Businessmen’s Association President & COO, Kenny Shim, and Representative Brian Lee, to discuss the importance of Ontario’s convenience stores and the challenges facing the 900+ store owners they represent.

I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Lori from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario on their 23rd annual Queen’s Park Day.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is a professional body representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario, advocating for healthy public policy, promoting excellence in nursing practice, and power nurses to actively influence and shape decisions that affect the profession and the public they serve.

Elder Abuse Prevention Networks in Ontario:  On Wednesday March 1st I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with members of @EAPreventionON and volunteers and service professionals representing 40 Elder Abuse Prevention Networks in Ontario. Thank you to everyone for the great work you do every day.

On Wednesday March 1st I was pleased to meet with Marc Cote of Cormorant Books and Collingwood resident James Saunders of Beech Street Books Saunders Book Company at Queen’s Park. Mr. Cote and Mr. Saunders were a part of delegation from the Ontario Book Publishers Org. to discuss the contribution of the publishing sector to Ontario’s economy & ways to continue industry support.

I was happy to meet with student representatives from Canadian Federation of Students – Fédération canadienne des étudiant.e.s to discuss the many challenges students face after the COVID-19 pandemic and ways to continue strengthening our post secondary education system. @CFSON

I was pleased to meet again with representatives of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association at Queen’s Park. We discussed ways to increase access to justice and ways to continue reducing the backlog of cases in Ontario’s justice system. The OTLA works to promote and lobby for full and fair protection of the rights of those who have suffered injury and losses, to advocate and support safety initiatives, to train its members in the highest standard of practice and to provide workable solutions to improve the legal system.

We are building Ontario and increasing access to justice!

I had the privilege to MC the official opening of the new Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto, and the added honour to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

I was pleased to be alongside MPP for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte and Attorney General of Ontario Doug Downey and others to celebrate this momentous occasion!

VIDEO: Simcoe-Grey MPP Brian Saunderson spoke about Bill 60, Your Health Act, 2023, at Queen’s Park on Monday February 27, 2023. “We want to make sure that we take care of our residents and provide them with the care they need and that is why this government is proposing to make bold and innovative changes to ensure that we do just that!”

MPP Brian Saunderson said it was a pleasure to address the Legislature in support of Bill 60. “It will be public, it will be accessible with your OHIP card, there will be no additional costs and it complies with the Canada Health Act … and that you can take to the bank!”

Previous Newsletters

February 2023 Newsletter
January 2023 Newsletter
September 2022 Newsletter
October 2022 Newsletter
November 2022 Newsletter
December 2022 Newsletter